You’ve got that pregnant glow, a sweet little baby bump… and morning sickness. And swelling. So by the time the late-night work holiday party comes around, you aren’t exactly feeling festive. But don’t stress — you’ve got this! It’s entirely possible to survive (and enjoy) a night filled with not-so-sober coworkers and everything else that goes along with work festivities, even while you’re preggo. Here’s how.

Funny girl wearing reindeer horns headband at Xmas Party

1. Get a comfy seat. The cubicles are pushed out of the way, the folding chairs are out, and you need a place that isn’t made out of cheap plastic to sit. Find a seat that isn’t temporary and make sure that everyone knows it’s yours for the night! If possible, find a seating space where you can put your feet up. A little elevation can alleviate swelling and totally change your mood.

2. Eat lightly. Small, light meals can help with nausea. While it’s tempting to sample everything on the holiday party buffet, start small. Keep in mind, this is only necessary if you’re feeling rather rocky. If not, go ahead and indulge — it’s totally okay.

3. Bring a change of shoes. Still rocking that cute-but-not-so-comfortable footwear for your nine-to-five? After wearing those peep-toes all day, your pregnant feet need a well-deserved break. But kicking off your shoes at the post-workday party isn’t going to fly in most places. So have an extra (supportive, comfy) pair in-hand to slip into for after hours.

4. Ask for mocktails. The work gang is guzzling fabulously festive fruit-filled holiday drinks and you have… water? No way. Talk to whoever is in charge of the drinks or bar area (or ask ahead if the party is at an outside eatery), and find out what you can get in the way of non-alcoholic fizzy fun.

5. Have an out. You’re exhausted. (Come on, you’re growing another human being inside of you.) But your boss and coworkers just don’t seem to understand. When simply saying, “I’m pregnant, I’m tired, I need to go home” won’t do, have an easy out prepped and ready to go. Maybe your MIL’s flight just got in, your S.O. needs a ride, you have a holiday must-do early in the morning, or anything else that gets you out of the party early.

6. Dress in layers. The heat is on. If it’s not a zillion degrees in your office, it’s the packed-with-people space making you sweat, and being pregnant itself is its own temperature challenge. Dressing in layers gives you options and keeps you comfy.

7. Stay hydrated. Keeping your thirst quenched is healthy for you and your baby. (Beyond that, it can also help to quell morning sickness woes and keep you feeling better all around.) Grab a water bottle, and keep it filled for the entire party time.

8. Just say no. It’s nearing midnight and your co-worker BFF is begging everyone to take the party out of the office and into anywhere that serves Christmas-y cocktails. It’s okay to say no. You need rest right now, mama. You’re completely justified in skipping the after-party.

9. Ask for help. Are you the designated party planner for every work gathering? Take some of the pressure off and ask for help. Your coworkers will understand when you can’t keep the party prep afloat by yourself. So say something. They may just step up and surprise you.

How do you cope with the holidays while you’re expecting? Share your tips and tweet us @BritandCo.

(Photo via Getty)